If I had told you today that the Warriors almost closed down in October, would you believe me?
If I had told you in October that the Warriors would be holding the IHFL Championship trophy as Champions this year, would you believe me?
Well, they are Champions!
It was a very tough game today. Ramat HaSharon, coming off a last-second win in the semi-finals against the Wolves, came prepared to win. However, the first drive of the game set the tone for the rest of the game. Joshua Kashnow proved that his Defensive Player of the Year award was well-deserved, as he pressured Thunder QB twice in a row, the second leading to a sack. The next play, Avi Weinreb scored on a pick-6, leading to a 8-0 lead after a successful two-point conversion.
However, throughout the rest of the first and second quarter, both offenses were unable to amount to anything, as both the Warrior and Thunder defenses were unstoppable. Both teams were unsuccessful in maintaining drives, with defenses forcing turnover after turnover.
Warriors finally caught a break with a 1 minute left in the first half when Zvi Greenstone threw a touchdown pass to Avi Weinreb. With Naftali Roth's PAT the Warriors went into halftime leading the Thunder 15-0. Warriors were hopeful in getting a bigger lead as the second half started since they started with the ball. However, Avi Weinreb fumbled his catch
and the Thunder had a unique opportunity to finally score. However, the Warriors defense proved to be too formidable.
Don't feel too bad for Avi Weinreb though. With a minute left in the third quarter, Avi scored for his third time tonight with a 1-yard run score. Naftali Roth's PT brought the score to 22-0.
With the fourth quarter kicking in, the Thunder started getting desperate, but slipped up when they threw an interception, which was caught by Ami Lipner.
However, the Thunder defense was still on a roll this evening, forcing the Warriors to punt the ball. Although the drive started out slowly, Thunder QB
Dor Peer was able to find WR Yahel Slonim twice, with the second leading to a 40-yard TD for the Thunder. With 6 minutes left in the game, the Thunder were looking to make a comeback as the score was 22-6.
However, IHFL MVP Yaakov Rabinowitz would not have it, as he returned the ensuing kickoff for an 80-yard TD, making the score 28-6. The Warriors defense did the rest, and the Warriors finished their season as the IHFL Champions of the 2018-19 season!
Avi Weinreb won IHFL Israbowl MVP, as he deserved. He scored all but one of the Warriors touchdowns, one of them being a pick-6.
The Warriors defense dominated this game. Avi Weinreb, Yaakov Rabinowitz, Amihai Lipner, Dovid Goldman, and Yitzi Fox all caught interceptions today. Joshua Kashnow and Ben Pappagallo continued their dominance on the front end, each sacking the Thunder QB once. The defense only allowed 120 yards and 6 points.
You can re-watch the game and see all game stats and info here.
Scroll til the end to see all game photos, provided by Yaakov Margol.
This had been an unbelievable year for the Warriors. The Warriors had lost long-time coach Mike Viselli as he and his family were forced to leave Israel. Warriors lost many players and were on the verge of folding as they only had around 15 people on the team. After a coaching carousel that lasted until mid-December and immense recruiting by the players and coaches, the Warriors battled their way to an undefeated season and their first Championship. The Judean Rebel organization is now the only organization in the AFI in which both the adult and high school teams have won a Championship.
Warriors also won a lot of awards this season:
IHFL MVP: Yaakov Rabinowitz
IHFL Offensive Player of the Year: Zvi Greenstone
IHFL Defensive Player of the Year: Joshua Kashnow
We are so proud of the Warriors! They worked hard all season long and persevered to win their first Championship. The Judean Football organization would like to thank coaches Avrami Farkas, Gidon Hazony, and Netanel Barasch for all their hard work!
Here are some more stats that will blow your mind:
Regular Season (9 games as one opponent forfeited)
Warriors scored 546 points. 116 points more than the next team!
Warriors allowed only 47 points to be scored against them. 64 points less than the next team!
Leading Player Stats (as per IHFL website)
Yoni Ben-Naim: 69 attempts for 619 yards and 14 rushing TD
Zvi Greenstone: 108 for 164, 1727 yards, 37 TDs and 4 Ints
Yaakov Rabinowitz: 27 catches, 464 yards, 8 TDs
Avi Weinreb: 22 catches, 362 yards, 8 TDs
Yoni Ben-Naim: 18 catches, 382 yards, 8 TDs
Aryeh Citronenbaum: 15 catches, 222 yards, 7 TDs
All Purpose Yards
Yaakov Rabinowitz: 1059 yards
Yoni Ben-Naim: 1001 yards
Avi Weinreb: 703 yards
Scoring (brackets next to name is their rank in the league by total points)
 Yoni Ben-Naim: 22 TDs, 17 2XPT
 Yaakov Rabinowitz: 15 TDs, 7 2XPT
 Avi Weinreb: 14 TDs, 3 2XPT
 Aryeh Citronenbaum: 7 TDs, 2 2XPT
 Shragie Peretz: 6 TDs, 5 2XPT
Yaakov Rabinowitz: 7 returns for 326 yards and 4 TDs
Avi Weinreb: 6 returns for 198 yards and 1 TD
Yitzi Fox: 3 INT for 60 yards and 2 TD
Yaakov Rabinowitz: 3 INT for 78 yards and 1 TD
Yisrael Aloni: 2 INT for 1 yard
Yaakov Rabinowitz: 6
Yitzi Fox: 5
Avi Weinreb: 4
Joshua Kashnow: 68
Yaakov Rabinowitz: 45
Joshua Kashnow: 6 solo, 4 assisted
Dovid Goldman: 4 solo, 2 assisted
Binyamin Berkowitz: 3 solo, 4 assisted
Yaakov Rabinowitz: 3 solo, 1 assisted
Tackles for Loss
Joshua Kashnow: 18 solo and 12 assisted for 122 yards
Binyamin Berkowitz: 9 solo and 6 assisted for 113 yards
Yaakov Rabinowitz: 6 solo and 5 assisted for 31 yards
Asaf Back: 3
Binyamin Berkowitz: 2